photo sharing and upload picture albums photo forums search pictures popular photos photography help login
David Jolley | profile | all galleries >> Steamboat Arabia Museum, Kansas City, Mo tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Steamboat Arabia Museum, Kansas City, Mo


The Arabia was a side-wheel steamer, carrying passengers and cargo on a regular route and schedule. At 171 feet long and capable of carrying 222 tons, she was a medium-sized boat. Her trade route took her well into present-day South Dakota.

On September 5th, 1856 6 days after departing St. Louis heavily loaded with freight and passengers, the Arabia reached Kansas City, Mo. Following a short stopover the side-wheeler was again underway to her intended destinations. A short distance upstream was the town of Parkville, Mo. But the Arabia would never arrive. During the night, the steamer struck a sunken "snag", below the surface of the river. Within minutes much of the boat and virtually all 222 tons of precious frontier cargo lay at the bottom of the Missouri River.

The river bottom was soft, and the boat and cargo sank quickly into the mud and silt. The boat held merchandise bound for frontier stores, and personal belongings of the passengers. Eventually, all evidence of the Arabia was erased from view. Seasonal flooding covered the site, and in its wake was deposited layer upon layer of rich, black topsoil.

After nearly a century, using old river maps and a metal detector to guide the effort, Bob Hawley, his sons David and Greg, Jerry Mackey found the wreck lying over a one-half mile from the river's edge and buried 45 feet underground. Before the dig was complete, a total of 20 wells were operating around the clock, removing as much as 20,000 gallons of water every minute from the ground.

A rubber overshoe was the first of thousands of exciting discoveries from the sunken ship. Boxes, barrels and crates of frontier merchandise held both the necessities and the luxuries available in 1856, now on display in the Steamboat Arabia museum.
Steamboat Arabia
Steamboat Arabia
_DSC6730.jpg
_DSC6730.jpg
_DSC6855.jpg
_DSC6855.jpg
_DSC6856.jpg
_DSC6856.jpg
_DSC6752.jpg
_DSC6752.jpg
_DSC6740.jpg
_DSC6740.jpg
_DSC6741.jpg
_DSC6741.jpg
_DSC6751.jpg
_DSC6751.jpg
_DSC6753.jpg
_DSC6753.jpg
_DSC6755.jpg
_DSC6755.jpg
_DSC6758.jpg
_DSC6758.jpg
_DSC6760.jpg
_DSC6760.jpg
_DSC6761.jpg
_DSC6761.jpg
_DSC6749.jpg
_DSC6749.jpg
_DSC6750.jpg
_DSC6750.jpg
_DSC6762.jpg
_DSC6762.jpg
_DSC6742.jpg
_DSC6742.jpg
_DSC6744.jpg
_DSC6744.jpg
_DSC6745.jpg
_DSC6745.jpg
_DSC6747.jpg
_DSC6747.jpg
_DSC6748.jpg
_DSC6748.jpg
_DSC6763.jpg
_DSC6763.jpg
_DSC6764.jpg
_DSC6764.jpg
_DSC6765.jpg
_DSC6765.jpg
_DSC6767.jpg
_DSC6767.jpg
_DSC6769.jpg
_DSC6769.jpg
_DSC6770.jpg
_DSC6770.jpg
_DSC6771.jpg
_DSC6771.jpg
_DSC6772.jpg
_DSC6772.jpg
_DSC6773.jpg
_DSC6773.jpg
_DSC6774.jpg
_DSC6774.jpg
_DSC6775.jpg
_DSC6775.jpg
_DSC6777.jpg
_DSC6777.jpg
_DSC6778.jpg
_DSC6778.jpg
_DSC6780.jpg
_DSC6780.jpg
_DSC6781.jpg
_DSC6781.jpg
_DSC6785.jpg
_DSC6785.jpg
_DSC6787.jpg
_DSC6787.jpg
_DSC6791.jpg
_DSC6791.jpg
_DSC6792.jpg
_DSC6792.jpg
_DSC6794.jpg
_DSC6794.jpg
_DSC6826.jpg
_DSC6826.jpg
_DSC6797.jpg
_DSC6797.jpg
_DSC6798.jpg
_DSC6798.jpg
_DSC6796.jpg
_DSC6796.jpg
_DSC6799.jpg
_DSC6799.jpg
_DSC6801.jpg
_DSC6801.jpg
_DSC6802.jpg
_DSC6802.jpg
IMG_2071.jpg
IMG_2071.jpg
_DSC6807.jpg
_DSC6807.jpg
_DSC6808.jpg
_DSC6808.jpg
_DSC6821.jpg
_DSC6821.jpg
_DSC6813.jpg
_DSC6813.jpg
_DSC6814.jpg
_DSC6814.jpg
_DSC6818.jpg
_DSC6818.jpg
_DSC6822.jpg
_DSC6822.jpg
_DSC6828.jpg
_DSC6828.jpg
_DSC6829.jpg
_DSC6829.jpg
_DSC6831.jpg
_DSC6831.jpg
_DSC6833.jpg
_DSC6833.jpg
Trade Beads
Trade Beads
_DSC6737.jpg
_DSC6737.jpg
_DSC6835.jpg
_DSC6835.jpg
_DSC6853.jpg
_DSC6853.jpg
_DSC6859.jpg
_DSC6859.jpg
Steamboat Menu
Steamboat Menu
_DSC6861.jpg
_DSC6861.jpg
_DSC6862.jpg
_DSC6862.jpg
_DSC6864.jpg
_DSC6864.jpg
_DSC6866.jpg
_DSC6866.jpg
_DSC6868.jpg
_DSC6868.jpg
_DSC6881.jpg
_DSC6881.jpg
_DSC6872.jpg
_DSC6872.jpg
The Arabia's Anchor
The Arabia's Anchor
_DSC6878.jpg
_DSC6878.jpg
_DSC6879.jpg
_DSC6879.jpg
_DSC6880.jpg
_DSC6880.jpg
Restoration Work Demonstration
Restoration Work Demonstration
_DSC6836.jpg
_DSC6836.jpg
IMG_2117.jpg
IMG_2117.jpg
IMG_2116.jpg
IMG_2116.jpg
Salvage Photo Wall
Salvage Photo Wall
Overhead view of the field where the Arabia was found
Overhead view of the field where the Arabia was found
Outline of the Dig Site
Outline of the Dig Site
Start of the Dig
Start of the Dig
_DSC6848.jpg
_DSC6848.jpg
_DSC6891.jpg
_DSC6891.jpg
_DSC6871.jpg
_DSC6871.jpg
_DSC6886.jpg
_DSC6886.jpg
_DSC6885.jpg
_DSC6885.jpg
_DSC6883.jpg
_DSC6883.jpg
_DSC6882.jpg
_DSC6882.jpg
_DSC6865.jpg
_DSC6865.jpg
_DSC6842.jpg
_DSC6842.jpg
_DSC6849.jpg
_DSC6849.jpg
_DSC6850.jpg
_DSC6850.jpg
Farewell
Farewell